U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 45(3), 2009, pp. 684–691.


In order to determine potential definitive hosts of the digenetic trematode, Bolbophorus damnificus, two American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), two Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), two Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias), and two Great Egrets (Ardea alba) were captured, treated with praziquantel, and fed channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) infected with B. damnificus metacercariae. Patent infections of B. damnificus, which developed in both American White Pelicans at 3 days post-infection, were confirmed by the presence of trematode ova in the feces. Mature B. damnificus trematodes were recovered from the intestines of both pelicans at 21 days post-infection, further confirming the establishment of infection. No evidence of B. damnificus infections was observed in the other bird species studied. This study provides further evidence that Double-crested Cormorants, Great Blue Herons, and Great Egrets do not serve as definitive hosts for B. damnificus.